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Classic french Onion Soup in white modern crocks on a wooden board with vintage linens

Classic French Onion Soup – Karen’s Way

Oh-La-La ~ Warm up with a Classic Crock of Onion Soup with a Secret Ingredient – Shiitake Mushrooms!

Classic french Onion Soup in white modern crocks on a wooden board with vintage linens
A bowl of warm comfort – baguette slices are soaked into the rich broth with a melting of Gruyère cheese and thyme
Two white modern crocks with French Onion Soup with Fresh Thyme.
Just the right amount of Gruyère cheese is added to the top and either broiled or heated in a hot oven
A delicious, hearty broth starts with good vegetable and chicken broths (no beef broth here) – added to perfectly caramelized onions and shiitake mushrooms.
The mushrooms add a nice earthy flavor that complements the soup.. just love that!

Toasted baguette slices – soak up the rich juices served gratinéed with Gruyère cheese.

The recipe is easily adaptable for gluten free and vegetarian diets.

Classic french Onion Soup in white modern crocks on a wooden board with vintage linens


5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided,
I use organic

6 medium caps fresh shiitake mushrooms,
cleaned and thinly sliced,
about ¾ cup

4 large onions –
peeled and sliced thinly,
I use half yellow and half Maui,
About 8 cups sliced

1 tablespoon flour,
use gluten free flour if preferred

½ cup good dry white wine

2 tablespoons good port

3 branches fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

3 cups vegetable broth,
Better Than Bouillon Seasoned
Vegetable base is good,
use Organic only.

2 cups chicken broth,
homemade is preferred:
(Use all vegetable broth for vegetarian version)

8 slices thin baguette,
¾” wide, or 4 slices
thicker baguette

1 medium garlic clove,
peeled, cut in half

1 cup grated Gruyere Cheese,
coarsely grated, about 4 ounces



Heat 1 tablespoons butter in a heavy soup pot (I use enamel coated cast iron) over medium heat.
Add all of the shiitake mushrooms and quickly stir to coat them.
Let the mushrooms brown, and stir once in a while until they are golden around the edges – about 5 minutes.
Remove to a plate, set aside.


Add 4 tablespoons butter to the pot set pot to low heat. When hot and foamy add all the sliced onions and stir well.
After 10 minutes until the onions will have started to wilt and become transparent.
Continue to cook over low heat, stirring from time to time until the onions have caramelized and are a golden-brown color – for 45 minutes.
Do not rush this process!


Add the cooked shiitake mushrooms to the pot and cook to combine over medium heat.
Add the flour and stir to coat the onions and mushrooms.
Add the wine – bring to a simmer and stir well as the mixture thickens.

Add the port, stir in.


Add 3 thyme branches and the pepper, stir in.
Add the vegetable broth and chicken broth – raise heat and bring to a boil.

Stir well and reduce heat to a slow simmer.
Cover and cook the soup for 30 minutes.


While the soup cooks – toast the baguettes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place baguette slice on a baking tray to fit.
Option: brush with a little melted butter to coat.
Cook for 5 minutes until slightly golden but not dry.

Remove from oven and rub the tops with the sliced garlic to flavor them, set aside.


Assemble the soup:
Remove the thyme branches from the soup.
Preheat the broiler (alternately you can heat in the oven at 400 degrees until bubbly.)
Place 4 soup crocks on a rimmed baking pan to hold.
Ladle the soup into the crocks, each about a 15-16 ounce capacity.
Add 2 baguette slices and tuck them in to soak up the broth.


Add the gruyère cheese evenly over the bread. Can let it drip over the sides of the bowls.
Broil 6 inches from the heat source until bubbly and just starting to brown.

Carefully remove from the oven.
Top each with a few fresh thyme leaves and serve.

Be mindful that the crock handles are hot!
Can place a folded napkin under the bowls if serving on a plate.

This soup is easily adaptable Gluten Free:
Use an all purpose gluten free flour blend and gluten free baguette (or pieces of gluten free toast scattered on top.)


To lighten-up the soup… if you must – add thinner pieces of bread and a less generous hand of cheese.

See BLOG for step-by-step photos and lots of information.

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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